Man of Iron
1981 / Colour / 153’ / 35mm
In Polish with Chinese and English subtitles
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Screenplay: Aleksander Scibor-Rylski
Cinematographer: Edward Klosinski
Music: Andrzej Korzynski
Cast: Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Lech Walesa
Palme d’Or and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Cannes Film Festival 1981
In the early 1980s, the Solidarity became a new force in reform. In fact, there were already voices from the people demanding reforms several years before. The Polish government under the leadership of W. Gomulka carried out some reforms and allowed more autonomy for the filmmakers, and who also became a force of reform along with the Solidarity. With a mix of documentary and fiction, Man of Iron records the struggle between the workers and the official media. A journalist from the government TV station is sent to report on the internal conflicts of the striking shipyard workers. Instead of finding the story that he intended to, he is touched by the workers’ sincerity. The film was shot on location of the striking shipyards, pitching contrast between the united workers and the helpless government. Lech Walesa, the leader of the union and later President of Poland, was also in the film. Shortly after the film was awarded with the Palme d’Or and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes, the more liberal Gomulka died and martial law was declared in
Wajda was already a major Polish filmmaker in the 1950s and 1960s. His films are known internationally for their strong historical context and dynamic drama. In the 1970s and 1980s, Wajda actively participated in his country’s reform and remains to be an active and influential filmmaker worldwide into his old age.
||Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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